Little Gangster

A sweet enjoyable family comedy film from the Netherlands.

Rik Boskamp (Thor Braun) suffers a lot from bullying. He blames his coward father (Henry van Loon) who does not like change, and would rather stay in their small apartment with an old computer and VHS tapes than to take a promotion. When he sees an opportunity to start his life anew, Rik takes the initiative in his father’s life and starts the ball rolling full of lies. Influenced by mafia movies, Rik develops a character for himself named Rikkie Boskampi. By reinventing himself, he thinks this is his way of becoming confident and popular. He also reinvents his father as sort of a mob boss. His plan works but the amount of lies may have dire consequences.

Toying around with Italian stereotypes, this film is all right. Director Arne Toonen tells the story very well and the film is very stylish. I am not familiar with any Dutch movies, but this is a great one for the family, with enjoyable humor for both kids and adults. Themes of bullying and honesty are explored and we learn not to judge a book by its cover.

What I liked about this film was how it deals with the issue of first impressions. As humans, we form an opinion on someone after only one-tenth of a second. In this film, we see the main character toy with this. We see in the beginning how everyone associates Rik with his cowardly father and automatically judge him based on that. When given an opportunity, he tries to form a good first impression amongst his new peers. With his preconceived notion of what a tough guy is, Rik becomes a gangster and makes his father look like a hero rather than the coward he’d been told he was.

Directors: Arne Toonen, Arent Jack

Rating: 7/10

Text: Jennifer Britt Lundberg Hansen